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La Cañada History: Before being banned, 4,000 candle luminarias lined Fernside Drive in annual holiday display

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In December 1958, nearly 4,000 candle luminarias line the curbs and retaining walls along Fernside Drive. After seeing this photo on the cover of the Valley Sun, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials declared the luminarias too hazardous and the practice was abandoned.
(La Cañada Valley Sun)

Ten Years Ago

After 50 years of service, Dave Silversparre announced he had no choice but to quit operating Silversparre’s Union 76 station at Foothill Boulevard and Angeles Crest Highway. He cited a poor economy, ongoing construction work at the intersection, a traffic reconfiguration there and a new corporate owner as reasons he would retire as of Dec. 31, 2008. “We tried to make things work, but with the recession and now no left-hand turns out of the station, we just couldn’t keep it going,” he said.

Twenty Years Ago

La Cañada residents took part in a relief effort to aid a Starlight Crest Drive family whose home had been ravaged by fire on Dec. 15, 1998. The victims were provided with clothing, household items and financial assistance by their neighbors. About $450,000 in damages were estimated following the blaze, which was believed to have started after a propane stove was left on in the garage.


Thirty Years Ago

To cope with traffic congestion and hazardous conditions for student pedestrians, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council imposed several parking restrictions at and around Palm Crest Elementary School.

Forty Years Ago

Final touches were being made to the La Cañada Flintridge float entry in the 1979 Rose Parade, the first float to represent the then-new city. Carrying the theme “Horse Play,” the 50-foot float created by the all-volunteer La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn., cost $35,000 all raised through donations.


Fifty Years Ago

Having apparently used a roof ventilating window to gain access, burglars “dropped in” on the Sport Chalet store in La Cañada one night during the 1968 Christmas shopping season and got away with $500 worth of ski clothing and equipment.

Sixty Years Ago

In December 1958, nearly 4,000 candle luminarias lined the curbs and retaining walls along Fernside Drive, from La Cañada Boulevard to Encinas Drive. The tradition carried on for four holiday seasons in a row. But after seeing this photo in the Valley Sun, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials extinguished the practice, declaring the burning of all those candles was simply too hazardous.

Compiled from the Valley Sun archives by Carol Cormaci.